grow out time

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by trudyg, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2013
    I have a group of dual purpose birds that are heavies for meat. How old should they be at process time? they're at 8 weeks now, so I'm thinking another 6-8 weeks? or more? Also, should I do anything to 'finish' them? I know that you put beef up for a week and feed more grain, do you do the same with chickens? They free range, spending most of the day eating from my burn pile of brush/wood.
     
  2. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    I do mine when the Roosters become a pain, or are big enough. This could be 6 + months. I never have to do the flock at one time, just the bigest/pain in the ***, and repeat monthy till done. Older birds taste better, and slow cooked are mostly not tough.
     
  3. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Thanks. I hadn't really considered that. I had planned on doing them, the roos, all at once and keep any pullets for laying/brooding. Out of the 16 I got as chicks, one was lost to an owl and I think 6 or so are female at this point. Maybe too early to tell. One of my polish acts roo-ish, grabbing combs and other behaviors and the other polish is calm but they look alike as far as coloring--no color on their heads yet at all.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I try not to keep mine more than about 20ish weeks. From my experience, after that point they really don't gain much weight and you're just pouring feed into them to maintain what you have. Since you're free ranging, that may not be as much as a consideration as it is for me.

    I'll butcher earlier if he's a real butthead. Or if I need the pen space.

    I've also butchered birds as old as 4 years. They're still fine to eat. I pressure cook them and the meat falls off the bone.
     

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